Unwinding with Video Games
Will Smith playing his NES
Ever since I was a kid, video games have been around. Being a 90's kid, I was born in a time when the pinnacle of video game technology really started to take off in the market. What started with the NES for me has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry running the gamut from console gaming to mobile gaming. With all the controversy video games bring such as it teaches young minds violence to it causes a lower attention span, one thing has always been true, it is a great tool to unwind fro the daily grind that is life. Whether I had a bad day at the office or something bad happened in the world, my console games have always been there to get me through.
Donkey Kong Country
I can remember as a kid coming home from school after a long day of learning, doing my homework and immediately asking my parents if I could play my video games. Through my childhood Donkey Kong was always there to bring a smile to my face. No matter what my problem was, whether it was doing lame chores or getting in trouble at home, Donkey Kong or Mario didn't care. All I needed to do was start up that Super Nintendo and let my troubles melt away as I was blasting through the levels that to this day still remain an absolute classic. Kids today have a lot more technology at their fingertips, but the idea remains the same.
With the advent of basically a revolutionary console every few years and hundreds of titles for each console, there is no shortage of something to do for everyone. Even adults well into their later life still find ways to connect with their childhood and the youth today. Take my mom for example, after a long day of work she likes to come home and play her Nintendo Wii. What a classic sight to see watching my mom carry on with her Dance Dance Revolution carrying on with her uncoordinated moves but not having a trouble in the world. Gaming, no matter what kind, even finds a way to bring families together to this day. Remember how great it is to play Mario Party and absolutely loathe your siblings during the game with sibling rivalry boiling over but yet after it is all said and done, and the dust has settled, you find yourself being closer as a family unit.
Do you remember staying up all night with your friends while you try and beat Zelda, Majora's Mask, staying up so late you watch the sun come up in the morning? These are some of my most cherished childhood memories. But not much has changed since those days except now you don't have to be with your friend in person to play. With the advent of playing online brought on by newer console game systems such as the PlayStation or Xbox, now you can talk with your friends, gossiping about nothing, while still playing your favorite game. As your troubles melt away and you become more entwined into your Halo 4 environment, you start to become a part of the story. No longer does it matter what happened yesterday, or how your boss is driving you crazy, all that matters now is winning through your campaign or going 27-0 on an online matchmaking battle.
These are the things I love most about video games. It does not matter what size and shape you are, where you come from or what you believe in, or the color of your skin. All that matters is people coming together to obtain a common goal, to forget about their day or week or whatever it is and entrench their mind in the land of virtual reality while making some new friends along the way and keeping the bond with your old friends alive just as it was in your childhood.
No matter the time or place, video games have remained timeless. While the common goal has remained the same for the major companies, the side effects of their success can sometimes negative but the good far outweighs the bad. Knowing what I know now after 20+ years of playing video games, I would not change a single thing about my career. Whether it was staying up all night with friends playing games to beat them and then sleeping all day, or in my adult years of now connecting with people online who share similar interests, we all just want to get away for however long. Video games have always been an important part of my life and have not only formed unbreakable bonds with friends that will be there the rest of my life, it has been a great stress reliever no matter what is going on in my world or the small world outside of my reality.